Am I Worthy?
What am I worth? Am I important enough? Does my life mean something?
Many of us struggle with those questions. In a world where we measure worth and meaning by dollars and cents, the answers can often be complicated.
For many years I considered myself a failure. I used to look at my professional success and my bank account in comparison to what I thought I was capable of achieving and the only answer I could come up with was that I had failed. That I had no value.
I struggled with that for many years. Even when friends and partners would point out how much I had given them or how much I had overcome, it didn’t make a dent. I couldn’t assign value to character, kindness, understanding and friendship. And I know I am alone in that.
In a conversation with my attorney yesterday the subject of personal worth came up. He said in his life he has always chosen experience and learning over money and professional success. Before being an attorney, he had his own business; a small graphic design company. When he felt he had learned everything about that business he went to law school, learned Mandarin and other things. As we continued talking I realized even though this man had many experiences and had learned much he too struggles with thinking he had fallen short of his potential because of his small practice. He is not an important lawyer and he doesn’t make tons of money.
Putting greater importance or even a sense of self-worth in success and money is a by-product of the society we have built. It’s become hard to hold on to self-respect because one has chosen to lead a life of experiences or service. Important people get respect. Important people are talked about and admired. How do others get their sense of respect?
If we scratch the surface we realize this sense of respect is paper thin. Respect that is truly valuable comes from the self. It comes from each one of us knowing every decision we have made and the person we have become in spite of the trials we have had to experience.
I have met many important people in my life and not all of them deserve respect. Yes, they have accomplished something but who they are – besides their money and success – is not worthy of respect.
A worthy person is one with kindness in their hearts. It is one who thinks about others not only themselves. And it is one whose focus is on personal growth.
Today, when I have a question of self-worth I remind myself of all the situations in my life that I could have abandoned others but chose to stay at great personal cost. I remind myself of all that I have learned in my life. And I remind myself I seek to be a better person rather than a person with more money and power. It is then that I know I am worthy.